Responding to the carriers’ rush to deploy LTE, ip.access has begun shipping an LTE version of its E-100 dual-mode access point to five customers for laboratory and field trials, a milestone toward full commercial deployment.
The manufacturer, which passed the half a million mark for 3G access points last year, said it has accelerated work on the access point because of strong interest expressed by customers.
“Indeed, our commitment to increased R&D into understanding and delivering on all the end-to-end requirements of the developing small cell network layer – from access points to network gateways and management systems – is now paying dividends; gaining recognition and support from network operators, system integrators, our partners and the industry in general,” said Simon Brown, company CEO, in a press release.
The E-100 is a small cell access point targeted for use in enterprises and public indoor environments. The device will provide simultaneous 4G and 3G mobile phone signals with data speeds of up to 150 Mbps and 42 Mbps, respectively, and will also be able to support Wi-Fi as an optional module.
“Small cells will have a vital role to play in delivering LTE’s promise of high-speed data for the mass-market and the E-100 will allow operators to quickly deploy that capacity exactly where it is needed,” said Nick Johnson, ip.access founder and CTO.
The E-100 will be integrated into ip.access’ nanoConverge end-to-end small-cell solution architecture, allowing operators to deploy the E-100 alongside the company’s existing 3G small cells using the same gateways and network management system.
Elsewhere, Korea Telecom announced the development of a sub-miniature base station capable of handling LTE service at this year’s Mobile World Congress. KT supervised the R&D project that was carried out jointly with Juni, Mindspeed and Radisys. Sprint announced this month that it will deploy Alcatel-Lucent’s lightRadio Metro Cells as part of its well-publicized Network Vision, which will feature improved 3G and 4G LTE. Ubee-AirWalk plans to offer a LTE line of microcells, picocells and femtocells based on its flat all-IP architecture, which will complement its existing CDMA product line.
Although there have been a number of announcements this year about LTE small cell development, the technology is still a nascent stage, Seth Buechley, president, SOLiD Technologies told DAS Bulletin.
“I think we are in the early beta stage of LTE small cell introductions,” he said. “They are coming, but we have not gotten our hands on the hardware, yet.”